Driving Test Tips




Tips for passing your test - at the first attempt:


Make sure you get plenty of practise over your chosen test centre routes with a professional driving school such as Harris Driving School.

(A common mistake is to leave it too close to your test date, aim for about 4 weeks beforehand.)


Practise manoeuvres until you can carry them out without any faults. That will leave you with a margin of faults for the rest of the drive on the day of your test.


Practise, practise and practise until you can drive without being prompted by your instructor for the duration of a driving lesson or a mock driving test. Don’t forget, it’s not practise alone that makes perfect, it’s practise together with professional coaching, that makes perfect.


On Test Day:

Warm up

Arrange to have an hour driving lesson around the test centre area on the day of your test. This will help you warm up and get into the right frame of mind. You will also be aware of any new road-works, obstructions etc. so you wont be surprised by them. Forewarned is forearmed.


It’s natural to feel nervous. Take slow, deep breathes for a few minutes. Once the test starts you will settle into driving and your attention will be on the road and your nervousness should disappear.



Think Confidently

Think 'can do', 'will do'. In your mind, talk yourself through the test. Identify hazards coming up and how you are going to deal with them. This will really focus your mind on how you should be driving.


Don’t be afraid to ask

If you don’t understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don’t be afraid to ask him/her to repeat the instruction.



Think Positively

Before you start a manoeuvre, repeat to yourself silently, “this is a piece of cake”. Think positively at all times. You can do it!




Making a mistake

If you feel you are messing up a manoeuvre e.g. the reverse manoeuvre, just pull forward and do it again correctly. As long as you haven’t done anything wrong, such as touching the kerb or failing to make effective observations you can still pass.




If you stall, deal with it calmly and move on. As long as you don’t stall in a dangerous situation, such as on a roundabout, and as long as you handle it properly, it need not count as a major fault and you can still pass the test.


Have I already failed?

If you feel you have made a mistake, don’t instantly assume you have failed, it may only have been a minor fault. Put it behind you and focus on what you are doing right now.



Keep your eyes on the road

Resist the temptation to look at the examiner and what he/she is doing. You will not be able to deduce anything. Keep your attention on your driving and what is happening ahead and about you.





The 10 most common reasons for failing the Driving Test:

  • 1. Inadequate Observations – moving off, at junctions, at roundabouts and when changing lanes
  • 2. Anticipate and React – not reacting in a timely way to the actions of other road users
  • 3. Incorrect positioning on the road – on the straight, on bends, turning right, turning left, on roundabouts, or overtaking
  • 4. Inadequate progress – at junctions, roundabouts, on the straight, when overtaking
  • 5. Improper use of mirrors and signals – incorrect or inadequate use of mirrors and signals
  • 6. Non-compliance with traffic controls – e.g. road signs and markings and traffic lights
  • 7. Incorrect use of vehicle controls – including gears, clutch, accelerator, steering, handbrake, footbrake
  • 8. Excessive speed – for the road or traffic conditions
  • 9. Not giving right of way – failing to give right of way to others
  • 10. Lack of competence in the manoeuvres – poor performance of the reverse or turnabout manoeuvres



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